Scrabble

Scrabble, centenary presentation edition, Spear's Games, England 1978 Museum no. MISC.170-1986

Scrabble was invented in the USA by Alfred Butts, who had lost his job in the 1930’s depression. He named his first version Lexico and later Criss-Crosswords, neither of which were successful. The game underwent some refinements and was patented with the new name of Scrabble in 1948. Its popularity took off on both sides of the Atlantic in 1952 and the first sets available in Britain were made by the firm J.W. Spears & Sons in 1953.

Scrabble is a word-making game designed like a crossword puzzle. All the letters of the alphabet have different values and varying quantities. Each player has seven letters at any one time, replacing them once a word has been added to the board. The game still retains the original number and distribution of letters that Butts decided upon. Scrabble has become a world-wide phenomenon. The first world championship was held in 1991 and has become a major biannual event.

This Scrabble for Juniors was published in 1983 by J W Spear & Sons plc. The board has two sides and the reverse has a picture side which was designed for younger children with words and illustrations, which have to be covered. The players do not need to know how to form words from the letters they select, but learn by placing letters on the appropriate squares.

 

 

 

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